Dueling Supercars

You may need a scorecard to follow this story, but here goes. Envisioning himself as the next Enzo Ferrari, British entrepreneur Arash Farboud founded an exotic sports car company, called Farboud Sports Cars, in the late 1990s with the goal of producing a supercar to rival some of the best in the world. After several attempts, he developed a concept for a car he called the Farboud GTS. But realizing he was stretching himself too thin, and preferring to focus his attention on auto racing as well as managing his family’s pharmaceutical company, Farboud brought in British automotive designer and producer Chris Marsh to oversee the company and produce the GTS.

However, in moving the mid-engine supercar from paper to production, Marsh made a number of critical changes to the car’s design, mechanics, and powerplant. For instance, Marsh opted for an easily acquired Cosworth-tuned, 3.0-liter Ford Duratec V6 that produces 262 bph (British horsepower) and is capable of driving the GTS from 0 to 60 in just under 5 seconds. That car is currently in production at the automaker’s small factory near Bath, England.

Okay, fine so far, but here’s where the twists begin. After Marsh made changes to the GTS’s design, Arash Farboud became disillusioned with the car, since it had strayed too far from what he had originally envisioned. So he launched another car company, which he called Arash Cars, a few years ago. Fearing there might be some confusion (are you confused yet?) in the minds of prospective buyers, Marsh, who remained at the original company, decided to rename his car. And so was born the Farbio.

Granted, it’s an odd name, a sort of Italian twist on the Farboud name. But the Farbio GTS is indeed about to make its way out onto the British, and perhaps American, roadways. The two-seater features a full carbon-fiber body, a steel-tube frame, a complete flat underfloor that helps the supercar stick to the road, and a six-speed manual gearbox. Inside, the Farbio GTS features an ergonomic design, with Sparco Milano reclining seats, a touch-screen navigation system, and bespoke leather organizer pouches, as well as the standard air conditioning, sound system, and power everything.

Pricing for the Farbio GTS will be 59,525 pounds, or around $121,500. A supercharged version will be available for 71,675 pounds, or about $145,000 and change. Reports indicate that the GTS will be available in the U.S., possibly sometime in 2008.

And what of Arash Farboud and his new company? Never content to be left in the dust, he’s in the process of launching the Arash AF10 (below) which, oddly enough, bears a striking resemblance to the GTS, although with a slightly different rear deck design and a more Ferrari-esque front end. No official word yet on when it will be available, but at least it’s nice to know that if you have the bucks, you’ve got a choice of British supercars.

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